By Lauren Victory

(CBS) – Could Daniel Nations be the key to one of Indiana’s biggest unsolved murder cases?

Indiana State Police on Thursday confirmed he’s a person of interest in the deaths of teens Abby Williams and Libby German, whose bodies were found near a Delphi, Ind. trail they were hiking together in February.

Nations has multiple Indiana addresses and a long criminal history in the state. He’s listed as s sex offender.

The 31-year-old was with his wife and kids, driving a car with expired Indiana plates, when police picked him up outside Colorado Springs for allegedly threatening people on a trail with a hatchet.

Nations is accused of wielding a hatchet in the past, by his former Indiana employer.

For now, Nations is jailed on a weapons offense.

Meanwhile Indiana detectives tell CBS 4 in Indianapolis they are working to get DNA samples and an alibi from Nations for the Delphi case.

Indiana State Police on Wednesday downplayed the potential connection. But Thursday, law enforcement signaled they are cautiously optimistic after months of dead ends.

Police out west are also investigating if nations is responsible for the shooting death of Colorado man from two weeks ago. That victim was bicycling near the same trail where Nations is accused of threatening people with a hatchet.